Thursday, May 19, 2011


Mary at Homegrown Learners wrote a post the other day about Friends and I have been thinking about it ever since.

I have been really blessed with several close, lifelong friends.
My brother, Lauren and I, 1970something

My friend Lauren is a month younger than I am and we say "we have been friends that long".  She grew up next door to my grandmother in Queens, NY.  When we would visit my grandmother, Lauren and I would play Barbies for HOURS.   As soon as we could write, we wrote letters back and forth constantly.  We spent several weeks each summer together.  Now we talk on the phone occasionally, but email often, sometimes several times a day.  Lauren's daughters are just a few weeks younger than mine, and they, too, email often.  We've been there for each other through marital woes, issues with our parents, illnesses and potty training, just to name a few.
Lauren & I, 2009
I have several friends from high school and college that knew me when I was young and dumb.  They know the mistakes I have made and they still love me!  We have been there for each other, in one way or another for over twenty years.  Sometimes it's praying for each other, or sending heartfelt emails when we know there is something going on but we don't want to pry.  We give each other space and we show up for each other.  We talk on the phone, we email, we hang out often.  We've been there for each other through break-ups, marital woes, births, illnesses, you name it.... I've called them when my heart was broken or I just needed someone to talk to and they have done the same, we've also shared in each other's joys, like when Dr. JJ got her PhD!!
KOJ, Dr JJ & I, 2009

I am also blessed with a remarkable family that has always been there for Jason, the girls and I, as we would be there for them.

Time is precious and I never feel that I have enough of it.  I can't be bothered to talk about the weather, tell me how you feel.  I can't be bothered to hear about a TV show, tell me what you did.  If you are going to tell me that your life is all peachy-keen, we won't have much in common.  I am not into bragging or competition.  I don't believe that is what life is all about.   I think God wants us to be supportive of each other, share ourselves and our experiences so that others can learn from us and feel less alone.

I've been thinking a lot about this and I think the reason I like blogging better than facebook is that blogging is more substantive and less superficial.  Life is short and it's a gift.  I believe that God wants us to find people who support us and inspire us and lift us up and help us along, by being there for us and also sharing their own vulnerabilities and shortcomings and issues and mistakes.  Some people may think I share too much of myself, but I learned a long time ago that you never know who your experiences may help.  When you admit your weakness, your problem, what you are struggling with, maybe someone else has also had that experience or can learn from yours.  I feel that blogging is a way of making real connections with people in a way that facebook is not.  I can not even begin to tell you how much I have learned this year from blogs and how many times I felt less alone because of what someone said in their blog.  I can not even begin to say what an incredible blessing learning from homeschool moms from all across the US and overseas has been for my family and I.  Blogging has made the world both smaller and larger for me.  I have developed some real connections through emailed responses to posts and I thoroughly treasure this experience.

I love Pioneer Woman's advice on blogging: "Blog like you were talking to your sister.  I wouldn't talk about hanky panky to my sister."  

The blogs I find myself going back to are the blogs where the moms are real and talk about how they don't have time for housework; the moms reveal their vulnerabilities and insecurities, they share their meltdowns and mis-steps, as well as the awesome, rewarding moments of homeschooling or parenting or life in general.  I am less interested in blogs where everything is always perfect and the mom always has the answers or the blogs where people only share the good things in their life like how great their kids are or a trip they went on or a promotion they got or just update to say: My Life is Awesome.  Both with real life friends and with bloggy buddies, I feel connections are only made when you can share your bad days as well as your good.